Alfa Romeo’s Valtteri Bottas set the quickest lap of a damp opening practice session for this weekend’s 2022 FIA Formula 1 British Grand Prix, finishing ahead of Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton and Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz.
Rain began to fall ahead of the session and as such there was a muted start to the session as teams kept their drivers in the garages as they waited for conditions to improve.
In the end it was local favourites Hamilton and Mercedes team-mate George Russell who were the first to take to the track, followed soon after by the Ferraris of Sainz and Charles Leclerc. While both Mercedes drivers and Sainz headed back to the pit lane after an installation lap, Leclerc posted the first time of the session with a lap of 1:44.769 before improving to 1:43.801. After 10 minutes AlphaTauri’s Yuki Tsunoda added another time to the board and the Japanese driver was followed on track by the Aston Martin cars of Sebastian Vettel and Lance Stroll.
Sainz then returned to the action and he took top spot with a lap of 1:42.967. More drivers then joined the fray with Bottas stealing third ahead of team-mate Zhou Guanyu. The Finnish driver then posted a time of 1m43.437s to split the Ferraris.
There was another lull at the halfway point as more rain began to fall but with 10 minutes remaining in the session and with the sun peaking through the clouds, Hamilton once again ventured out on track, sparking a return to action for the bulk of the field.
Bottas rejoined and took spot with his late effort and Hamilton also delivered a last-minute improvement to steal second place ahead of Sainz and Leclerc who finished fourth, albeit eight tenths of a second behind his team-mate.
Mick Schumacher finished in fifth for Haas, with Zhou Guanyu finishing sixth ahead of the second Haas of Kevin Magnussen. Stroll took eighth, but the Canadian brought the session to an early close when he spun off at Copse in the final moments. The top 10 order was rounded out by Tsunoda and Vettel. The remainder of the field failed to record a timed lap.
2022 FIA Formula 1 British Grand Prix – Free Practice 1
1 Valtteri Bottas Alfa Romeo/Ferrari 1:42.249 9 207.411
2 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1:42.781 0.532 10 206.337
3 Carlos Sainz Ferrari 1:42.967 0.718 8 205.965
4 Charles Leclerc Ferrari 1:43.801 1.552 7 204.310
5 Mick Schumacher Haas/Ferrari 1:43.895 1.646 3 204.125
6 Zhou Guanyu Alfa Romeo/Ferrari 1:46.171 3.922 4 199.749
7 Kevin Magnussen Haas/Ferrari 1:48.161 5.912 3 196.074
8 Lance Stroll Aston Martin/Mercedes 1:51.243 8.994 5 190.642
9 Yuki Tsunoda AlphaTauri/Red Bull 1:51.373 9.124 5 190.419
10 Sebastian Vettel Aston Martin/Mercedes 1:59.168 16.919 5 177.963
11 George Russell Mercedes - 2
12 Sergio Pérez Red Bull - 3
13 Esteban Ocon Alpine/Renault - 2
14 Fernando Alonso Alpine/Renault - 1
15 Alexander Albon Williams/Mercedes - 1
16 Daniel Ricciardo McLaren/Mercedes - 4
17 Pierre Gasly AlphaTauri/Red Bull - 3
18 Lando Norris McLaren/Mercedes - 4
19 Nicholas Latifi Williams/Mercedes - 1
20 Max Verstappen Red Bull